Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fleetwood Mac: May 13, Rexall Place - Edmonton

Edmonton Journal

YES! It’s not a rumour or a sweet little lie — pop-rock veterans Fleetwood Mac are about to make their first Edmonton stop in almost two decades. Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood will perform May 13 at Rexall Place.

It’s part of their Unleashed: Hits tour — featuring classics such as Little Lies, Don’t Stop, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, Gypsy, and Big Love. Tickets will go on sale Monday, Jan. 26, according to, but prices have yet to be announced.

Their last local show was in 1990, when singer/keyboardist Christine McVie was still touring with the group. She stopped in 1994, rejoined two years later, then retired from the road in 1998. There were rumours that Sheryl Crow would stand in for McVie on this upcoming trek, but those have since been quashed by Fleetwood.


Here is Helen Metella's review of Fleetwood Mac's Dec. 2, 1990 gig at Northlands Coliseum:

So this is Christine McVie's last tour with Fleetwood Mac? What a shame, what a drag. Stevie Nicks' too? Good riddance.

In a consistently irksome and sub-standard performance, the fey, once vocally stunning and visually bewitching lead singer for the British-American supergroup walked through Sunday night's concert in an apathetic, disconnected daze.

Swaddled in what resembled adult-sized christening coats, the admittedly shy, 42-year-old Nicks repeatedly lifted the sides of her skirts so that her silhouette showed and swayed slightly, back to the crowd.

Quite a disappointing departure from the halcyon shows eight and ten years ago when she was crowned the most mesmerizing woman in rock for her dervish-like dances.

More distressing still, she offered dreary, sometimes flat renditions of such shimmering melodies as Rhiannon in a deep register designed to fudge the high notes.

Plagued by throat nodes in the past, perhaps Nicks' careful, unexciting singing form is due to the rigors of a long tour.

But what explains her deliberately and wordlessly padding off-stage through a side curtain after almost every tune only to slowly re-enter a few moments later, like some addled prima donna?

Luckily, Nicks' ridiculously outdated wood-nymph routine and her mystical vocals have never been the sum total of Fleetwood Mac's appeal.

Even with the gifted writer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham gone - these past three years - from the band's best-known and most successful lineup, the group has meat on every one of its bones.

Keyboardist Christine McVie, an admirably fit and effervescent 46 year old shone on such signature tunes as Say You Love Me with her strong and shapely lead vocals. She also supplied the physical gusto so lacking from Nicks. When the spotlight found her on the front line, the mood of the over 14,000 fans immediately brightened, just as it grew audibly nervous when Nicks took a shaky solo with acoustic guitarist Billy Burnette on the fragile masterpiece Landslide.

Founding members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie formed a bruising duo and a solid foundation for the groove which new members Rick Vito and Burnette laid out from the opening medley.

For World Turning Fleetwood reinvented the obligatory drum solo as Ghana's Isaac Asante, playing congas and hardwood tree branches, duelled with the electronic screeches emanating from the drum pads strapped under Fleetwood's clothes.

As the rhythms grew progressively more tense, wilder, louder and closer together, the band's overwrought lighting system strafed the audience with strobe lights. It added up to nothing in the end, but it was adventurous and different while it lasted.

Ex-Bob Seeger band member Vito lit up his instrument with electrifying lead lines and dove easily into jazzy blues jams from the original Fleetwood Mac's repertoire. Both he and Burnette were also tremendous assets vocally, especially on such comparatively weak tunes as Love is Dangerous, from the current LP Behind The Mask.

But no matter how fine and versatile the band, it was hard to feel fulfilled by this event with the lead singer so wanting.

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